Teachers protest in support of colleague facing disciplinary after speaking out

Teachers at Tower Hamlets College demonstrated today in response to a colleague facing disciplinary action after he spoke out against college management.

It is understood the college initiated disciplinary proceedings against teacher John Budis after he was quoted in an Advertiser story last month, criticising management over a �50 incentive for students who failed exams to resit. Mr Budis, a college union branch representative, was concerned the cash incentive could be seen as “rewarding failure instead of success” and could be open to abuse.

Colleagues are believed to be terrified Mr Budis could face the sack and the protest outside the college’s Arbour Square branch in Stepney was intended to let their feelings known.

An insider said: “John is a great colleague and teacher and a very experienced trade union representative. It would be disastrous for staff morale if management pursued formal disciplinary action against him.

“Times are hard enough for teaching staff as it is. I’m surprised senior management haven’t got better things to do.”

A mass walk-out by staff could follow if management refuses to drop proceedings against Mr Budis. It is understood the climate at the college has reached a climax with staff concerned about the lack of administration staff, equipment and workloads.

Mr Budis is understood to have been notified he will find out Friday whether management intends to press ahead with a formal disciplinary procedure.

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A statement issued by the college principal, Michael Farley, read: “It would be inappropriate for the college to comment on any discussions that have taken place with individual members of staff.”